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A Victory for Success Academy Bronx 3 Scholars

It was a late night for parents and staff of Success Academy Bronx 3, but well worth the loss of sleep. Over 200 of our parents, scholars, and staff traveled from the Bronx to Chinatown to show their support for the co-location proposal before the Panel for Educational Policy, which after hearing three hours of testimony, voted 7 to 5 to approve our co-location at building JHS 145 for grades 3-5!

A few highlights from the 45 parents and staff who spoke last night and at the joint public hearing earlier this month:

Moses Gutierrez, father of a first grader

“We are all here for the same thing — for our children. My son, Diego, started off at a non-charter school. He didn’t get the education he needed. He came to Success Academy not knowing his ABCs, not knowing how to read. We had tutors help him, even over the summertime. And that still didn’t help.

“It is the care and the love that the teachers show at Success Academy (that made the difference). My son’s teacher, Mr. Olinsky, always calls me up. He texts me and tells me, ‘Moses, this is what I need from you.’ They care. It’s what teachers bring to the children. I want a great education for my son, and I believe Success Academy gives my child that opportunity.”

Fior Batista, mother of a kindergartener and a second grader
(translated from Spanish)

“I feel so satisfied with Success Academy because I am involved with my children’s education. Before, when my older son was in a district school, I didn’t know the principal or the teachers. I never sat inside a library and read to him. Now, I wake up every morning to take my son, Alan, to school and I know every single teacher. I know the principal and the secretary. I know everybody. I would like for my children to have space at this building so they can continue their education at SA Bronx 3 and go to college. That’s what my kids want.”

Elias Contreras, father of a first grader

“I stand here as a Hispanic Afrocentric man of color. I was born and raised in the Bronx. I’m a first-generation college graduate. But I am an exception to the rule. There are a lot of people I grew up with who didn’t graduate college, who didn’t have the same opportunity as me. I need something better for my son, De’niro. He can’t be the exception. When I see your faces, I see my son. I see me growing up. I have love for all you guys. We are not trying to take your school. JHS 145 has sufficient space. We are just asking that you share that space.”

Sharlene Lafayette, mother of a second grader

“I rose above a failing school and obtained two degrees. I succeeded because my parents were determined. However, not all kids are granted that opportunity at home. So when they don’t get it from home, they get it from places such as Success Academy, which is not only a community, but a family. It is structured on character, humanity, principles, values, and morals, and this is where my son, Levon, will succeed. His teachers tell him and his classmates give him a vision, hope, inspiration and a dream to one day go become someone’s doctor or lawyer.”

Many more parents and staffers spoke out for SA Bronx 3 and our scholars. A sampling of what they said:

  • “We’re family. We work together on a regular basis.  They don’t give up on us.”
  • “After 25 years in schools, I can tell you that no school educates its students better than Success Academy.”
  • “When I see all that he’s capable of, I reflect on myself.  The Bronx is burning for more schools.”
  • “They educate me on things I don’t recall learning in second grade.  We love Success, and Success works for us.”
  • “These teachers are amazing.  They keep him going, they keep him focused.  Sometimes I forget that he’s in the first grade.”
  • Many parents discussed how SA Bronx 3 is a family, including one parent who said:  “I have a bounty of scholars at Success.  But only two that I take home.”


Our scholars have had an amazing start to their educations, and I am thrilled that they will have the opportunity to continue learning and growing at Success Academy Bronx 3. Thank you to our wonderful community of parents and educators who have been committed to the success of all children all along.

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Written by Colleen Stewart April 30, 2015

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